What is a medical surgical telemetry mode

Surgical drains

A surgical drain is a small plastic tube that is sometimes used after an operation. It will be placed inside you by the doctor during surgery and will stick out of your body until it is removed, usually a few days later. It's tied to a small plastic bag that is used to collect fluid or air that has drained from the area where you performed the surgery. Not all surgeries require a drain: your surgeon will advise if this is necessary.

Surgical drains

  • What is a surgical drain?
  • Why are surgical interventions useful?
  • Are there disadvantages to surgical interventions?
  • For which operations do you normally need a surgical drain?

What is a surgical drain?

Surgeons use small plastic tubes to drain the fluid after surgery: without them, the fluid could build up and cause infection. Surgery on the lungs or chest can cause air to build up and crush the lungs.

These are usually special small, flexible plastic tubes that the surgeon places during the operation and then backs the skin on a small pouch.

Here is an example of a drain leaking from a human leg:

surgical drain

By Christian Kazur, via Wikimedia Commons

Although they look a little cruel, they are usually not painful.

Here is an example of surgical drainage after hand surgery:

Hand surgical drain

By Pavel Ĺ evela via Wikimedia Commons

Why are surgical interventions useful?

Some surgeries involve fairly "juicy" parts of the body: areas where the body normally produces a lot of fluids or juices. An example would be surgery on a person's armpit (axilla): this is often done as part of breast cancer surgery. The armpit creates a lot of fluid after the operation. Without a drain, the fluid could build up in a large basin and be painful. The pressure of the liquid inside can stop the wound from healing. The surgical drain allows additional fluid to drain in a harmless manner. A few days later, when fluid production subsides, the drain can be removed painlessly.

If you had to do emergency surgery - for example for a ruptured digestive tract (what doctors would call a perforated bowel) - then infected juices may be left in your body. A surgical drain can drain these juices and hopefully reduce the chance of infection after surgery. Here is an example of drainage after abdominal (abdomen) surgery. You can see the drain, a thin tube, in the middle of her lower abdomen:

Drain abdominal surgery

Image source: Open-i - see reference below

Are there disadvantages to surgical interventions?

  • There is disagreement among surgeons as to whether surgical drains are always required. Some studies have shown that things may not necessarily heal faster. And sometimes they can cause problems, such as: B. an infection where the drain leaks. or they can interfere with healing in your body.
  • They are usually not painful.
  • You can stay in the hospital longer.
  • Sometimes they can prevent you from moving as often as you want, especially if you have a drain from your chest area.
  • If they accidentally stay in the cell for too long, they can be difficult to pull out, and a small area can be left that takes a while to heal.

For which operations do you normally need a surgical drain?

  • Operations on the neck, including the thyroid gland.
  • Operations on the armpit (axilla).
  • Operations performed in an emergency for something broken inside you.
  • Some types of brain surgery.
  • Surgery on the stomach (the drainage often comes from the nose and is called a "nasogastric tube").
  • Surgery on the bladder (the drainage usually comes from the urine tube and is called a "urinary catheter").

Your surgeon will discuss with you before the operation whether you need a surgical drain and where it will be.

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Further literature and references

  • Yoon A, Kim TJ, Lee WS et al; Single port laparoscopic staging access. J Gynecol Oncol. June 30, 2011 (2): 127-30. Doi: 10.3802 / jgo.2011.22.2.127.

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